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The role of noncognitive constructs and other background variables in graduate education.

Kyllonen, P.C., Walters, A.M., Kaufman, J.C.



This report reviews the literature on noncognitive and other background predictors (e.g., personality, attitudes, and interests) as it pertains to graduate education. The first section reviews measures typically used in studies of graduate school outcomes, such as attrition and time to degree. A review of qualities faculty members and administrators say they desire and cultivate in graduate programs is conducted. There appears to be a divergence between the qualities faculty members say are important and the measures researchers typically use in validity studies. The second section reviews three categories of noncognitive variables that might predict outcomes (general personality factors, quasi-cognitive factors, and attitudinal factors) and the definitions, measures, correlates, and the validity of those measures. The role of background factors, both environmental and group, is part of this review.

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